Throwback Thursday: A .22 Rifle for John Wayne

Today I’m reposting part of an interview I did with L James “Jim” Sullivan back in 2014. Aside from being one of the two men who did the conversion of the AR-10 into the AR-15, one of Sullivan’s many projects was an attempt to found the Wayne Repeating Arms Company (or WRA Co., not to be inadvertently confused with any other gun company with those initials). Sullivan envisioned John Wayne as the financial backer, and designed a very nice .22 self-loading commercial rifle for the company to produce, but it all came to naught. Depending on which story you trust, there was either a falling-out between business managers, or a mishap with an Ingram M10 SMG demonstration curtailed Wayne’s interest in firearms investments…

17 Comments

  1. The view of the inside of the receiver looks very involved. I don’t see how this could compete with the 10/22 in simplicity and in the same price range (around $50 at the time).

    • Many thanks for pointing that out to him, as if he didnt put a photo of him out of that movie, as a half of this video thumbnail.

  2. I was in Beirut in june 1974 and huge posters of Wayne with the MAC 10 were everywhere I actually went and saw the film and each time the MAC was fired the male audience cheered. The lebenese certainly liked their guns in those days.

  3. I like it, and would certainly consider buying one. The fire control group definitely looks easier to disassemble and clean (and do a trigger job on)than that in the 10-22.

  4. That is a .22 that should have been made. The perfect blend of early 20c style, modern features and decent sights. Hear me Ruger? Decent sights. They have DECENT SIGHTS. Henry or someone should look at that. Heck, I need another .22 rifle like Alex Baldwin needs more bad publicity, but I would go in to crowdfund that, as long as Jim got a fair share.

  5. That is a gun I would buy in a heartbeat if it were being produced. The way the hand guard is relieved around the barrel reminds me of the Remington Nylon 66. A 25 round mag that isn’t a banana? That’s a win. If it were available with various types of barrels (threaded, heavy target, etc) that could be easily swapped out, it would be great. CZ 455’s and 457’s have that ability, but not as easy as this one. I think it is a GREAT design.

  6. As Ian says…” I would buy one”. For sure. Nice design. Receiver side plate with internal parts reminds me of the AR-7.

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